Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Little Green Apples

I've been thinking about little green apples lately. It's because of a song that keeps running through my head with lyrics that say ...God didn't make little green apples...

Yet my soul screams that the words aren't true. God did make little green apples, and yellow ones, and red ones, too. I hum and mumble through the chorus for a day or two, straining to think of the words until I hit upon a line about it never snowing in Minneapolis. Right. Like that's true. Finally, I go on-line and search out the lyrics because I need to put the words into proper context.

The song, Little Green Apples, was originally written by Bobby Russell for Roger Miller, who released it in 1968. Amazingly, the song was released by at least 8 recording stars that same year, and several more artists in the following years including Frank Sinatra, The Temptations, and lately Robbie Williams and Kelly Clarkson. The song has staying power regardless of the age and genre. In 1969 it won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year as well as the Grammy Award for Best Country Song.

But why does it say that God didn't make little green apples?

Listen for yourself in this YouTube version where it's sung by Glen Campbell who is accompanied by his daughter, Debby Campbell. Since the words are captioned across the bottom of the screen, you can read the lyrics or even sing along with Glen Campbell's smooth voice at

Although the line that God didn't make little green apples is used in the song, it's used along with other true facts to illustrate that the man singing the song believes his wife loves him because all the things mentioned are true. This love song is like a romance novel. We feel the warmth of her love because she shows it in every smile and gesture. And to those who would say he's a male chauvinist because he expects her to drop what she's doing and run to him, my answer is that we don't know what she's thinking. I truly wish this song had been written as a duet so that we hear what each believes, instead of her simply repeating his words, but it wasn’t so I will accept it as a beautiful love song that stays in my memory.

However, I'd like to point out that this is what happens when you hear...remember...or say something out of context. For one thing it probably doesn't make sense, but for another, you're missing an important part that may save you aggravation down the road. (Especially if you thought it was about you.)

For my part, I remembered one line that didn't make sense until I read it in the body of work that it was written. Some people take verses out of the Bible and use them out of context, confusing those who don't know the truth. Am I showing Christ in every aspect of my writing, or only when I think the story needs it? Will the reader need to re-read the story to remember the take-away value? Food for thought.

Are you familiar with the Little Green Apples song? Which version?


Anita Mae Draper's historical romances are written under the western skies of the Saskatchewan prairie where her love of research and genealogy yield fascinating truths that layer her stories with rich historical details.  Anita's short story, Here We Come A-Wassailing, was a finalist for the Word Guild's 2015 Word Awards. Her novellas are included in Austen in Austin Volume 1, The American Heiress Brides Collection, and The Secret Admirer Romance Collection. Readers can check out Anita's Pinterest boards for a visual idea of her stories to enrich their reading experience.  Discover more at:


  1. Yes, I remember the Roger Miller version best. That was in my teenaged years. Great song. Yes, it’s true we need the whole picture and shouldn’t take verses out of context. But we can see the thread of Jesus running through the whole Bible.

    1. Amen, Paula, and it's for that reason that the Old Testament should not be ignored. I sometimes wonder if I take verses out of context when I make my Scripture Pics. I don't change the words, but I want it to catch people's eyes with a photo and a brief message that will inspire their day.

      So the song came out when you were a teenager, huh. I was a pre-teen when I started singing along, but I didn't own a copy until I bought the Bobby Goldsboro album Honey. That whole LP is still a treasure among my box of records. :)

  2. I have never heard this song, at least that I can remember! Great food for thought about taking Scripture verses out of context, too--I think it's done far too frequently. I need to take care not to do the same.

    1. Well, at least you didn't say the song came out before your time. :D I suppose I should add a warning that if you listen to it, it may stick around for awhile.

    2. I thought the same thing, Anita. Susie was probably too young to recall when it was popular on the car radio! I probably didn't have a clue at the time. There were so many songs that don't make sense until you're 'older and wiser' because love songs ...are like that!

      I just saw that Billy Graham died. Such a well-respected man and part of me thinks that he left at the perfect time. What an ugly world lately with Christianity so distorted and maligned. I can't think of any one who has likely touched more lives for Christ, than he. And God's word will stand strong regardless of those who want to find reasons to put their own spin on it or tear it apart. Thanks for a nice reminder!

    3. I'm glad you mentioned Billy Graham's passing, Deb. I learned of it this morning when I read Davalynn Spencer's Facebook post. What a wonderful tribute.

  3. It's been a long time since I have thought of this song, and it would have been the Glenn Campbell version. You gleaned a great application!

    1. Thank you, Rebecca. I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your memory. :)

  4. Haven't thought about that song in years. Now it probably won't go away. ;)


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